Cleansing Fire

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Some Other Troubling Statements in Vigano’s Testimony

September 2nd, 2018, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

The full document can be found here:

TESTIMONY
by
His Excellency Carlo Maria Vigano?
Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana
Apostolic Nuncio

The entire document is very unsettling. I can’t say it’s all that surprising to anyone who has followed the inner workings of the Catholic Church over the years. While most of the commentary on Vigano’s testimony has focused on sexual sins and the cover-up thereof, which certainly deserves attention, in this post I want to highlight a couple of other excerpts which I think puts a reality check on what can reasonably be done to remedy the current corruption in the Church. Consider me a pessimist when it comes to hoping that this situation will somehow resolve itself short of a significant upheaval that I really can’t comprehend.


re: The Society of Jesus

These characters are closely associated with individuals belonging in particular to the deviated wing of the Society of Jesus, unfortunately today a majority, which had already been a cause of serious concern to Paul VI and subsequent pontiffs.

This is a major problem as the influence of the Jesuits in the Catholic Church is without rival. According to wikipedia, “the Jesuits… manage a number of institutions, including 380 secondary schools and 190 colleges and universities”.

They also publish America magazine, “the only Catholic weekly magazine in North America, and is considered the leading Catholic journal of opinion in the country”.


re: the conservative/liberal*1 debate in this country, Vigano attributes these words to Pope Francis:

the Bishops in the United States must not be ideologized, they must not be right-wing like the Archbishop of Philadelphia

and later

the Pope replaced Cardinal Burke with Wuerl and immediately appointed Cupich right after he was made a cardinal. With these appointments the Nunciature in Washington was now out of the picture in the appointment of bishops.

In short, give thanks to God for giving us Bishop Matano at the moment he did… and prepare yourself and your family for the day when our next bishop arrives.


re: calls that the Vatican ought to open an investigation into these issues… I wonder how exactly the accused is supposed to also act as an accuser? How does that work? Of all the great gifts provided to our country by our English patrimony, I must say that the adversarial system of law is among the best. I’m not in any way suggesting the Church ought to change her form of government. I’m just noting that what we’re familiar with here in this country as far as how a trial works does not apply to the Church, especially when the top-most person is accused.


Another train of thought I’ve had regarding the now accepted consensus that whistle-blowing in matters concerning sexual predators is better than the alternative, the culture of cover-up and secrecy. It now seems that most lay people and clerics alike agree that, in hind sight, it would’ve been better if more people spoke up sooner and more publicly rather than simply sweeping these issues under the rug. If this is true about sexual predators, I don’t see why it wouldn’t also be true about liturgical abuse, heretical teaching from the pulpit (as well as the complementary failure to transmit ALL of the teachings of the Church from the pulpit), unjust closing of schools and churches, financial corruption and mismanagement, etc. The principle ought to be the same for all of these issues as well. Matters should first be taken to the offender directly (depending on the crime), then to the person whose job it is to correct that person and take care of the issue, but if that person fails to act, then one is completely justified in going around them, going higher up the chain, as well as going public. This certainly doesn’t mean you can skip that first steps (NOTE: I haven’t posted one article about local abuse in the Diocese of Rochester since Bishop Matano was installed), but it does mean that those who say, “shut up – you’re doing more damage to the Church by speaking up” in all situations are unjustified. Prudential judgment certainly comes into play in all situations, but the “never speak up” attitude is completely without merit. I also happen to think it’s time for priests and bishops to stop playing the game of heaping praises on their heterodox brother bishops and priests. Let’s be real – THEY are the ones who have caused division, NOT the ones simply stating the facts that there IS a division.


I understand these revelations have shaken the faith of some good Catholics. I praise God that mine has not been. My faith in God and His Church has only increased since I’ve become Catholic. I look into my own heart and I see so much potential for evil. I thank him every day for bringing me into the fold of the Catholic Church, sustaining me with the Sacraments, entrusting me to the care of His Blessed Mother, and for showing me the example of so many holy people (historically in the Saints*2 and also presently in the faithful people and priests we have right here in Rochester.)

*1 conservative/liberal are obviously loaded terms. What I mean by a conservative here is someone who adheres to *all* of the Church’s teaching, while a liberal picks and chooses from Church teaching and assumes the parts they don’t like can/will change in the future.

*2 most of our favorite Saints lived amongst corruption as bad or worse than we’ve been exposed to. IOW – we have no excuse for not becoming as holy as God wills us to be.

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2 Responses to “Some Other Troubling Statements in Vigano’s Testimony”

  1. avatar SamanthaGillenson says:

    Fantastic assessment, straight to the point, no mincing of words. BRAVO!

  2. avatar Ginger says:

    @Ben Anderson

    In the past, the result of whistle-blowing liturgical abuses and various other blatant offenses meant to be boxed, labeled and shelved.
    What guarantee is there that this won’t happen again?

    Your idea of going public with problems was supposed to work but it hasn’t in the past and still does not.
    e.g.
    said: don’t allow pay-for-view tickets to listen to the Irish Brothers in the Sanctuary.
    told: these musicians work hard to play well, pay for the ticket and be quiet
    What really happens: concerts in the Sanctuary year after year.

    said: the newly hired education director was at the 2017 Women’s March sporting a pink pussy hat and carrying a placard that said “I solemnly swear to smash the patriarchy” Never mind she did not go to the Right to Life March.
    told: we are taking care of it
    What really happened: director was never let go.

    These things must not be tolerated on any level any more. This toxic tolerance must stop. It isn’t tolerance it is asinine.

    I know that law enforcement and the judiciary process is also to blame for light sentences or completely ignoring crimes. e.g. Priest gets caught DWI for the 3rd time and does no jail time. This creates a sense of impenetrability and superiority among the clergy. People from all sectors should be outraged by this but few notice and even fewer care. Inequality in the judiciary/law enforcement system isn’t expressed only by color of skin.

    The problem is complex. The solution could be easy if purse strings were tightened. To start with, Immediately incur a set fee per priest and bishop salary to pay for past/present legal fees from collective offensive brother priests/bishops. Retired clergy must also pay up equally if not more so. The fee should feel like a bad pinch and serve as a reminder and an incentive to keep clean.

    I don’t know what to say about the Jesuits. Although it is a large and powerful organization I find it funny there are only 2-3 at McQuaid. Maybe pay and opportunities for advancement are poor? The winters are certainly cold here. We all know how the numbers like to flock to warm and happy places for employment. Is it possible that a religious order be too big and wield too much power?

    These recent revelations haven’t shaken my Faith as I’ve been prepared for such a day by a battering of assaults for many years. There are fewer and fewer hands on deck these days. By the Grace of God I was duly prepared starting at an early age. IT IS DIFFICULT to grasp the casualties along the way. Consider the time of Noah. Were all the people and creatures gathered up in the Ark? Only the ones God chose. This is the difficult part. We don’t really know which ones God has chosen. Only in death… Yes we have seemingly lost many along the way and especially now. Our task today is to ‘incline the ear of’ (Prov.4:20) our hearts, labor and do the Will of God.
    “Run while we have the light of life, lest the darkness of death overtake us” John 12:35


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